Farmer/owner: Barbara Savage with sons, Noel and David
Farm location: Donaghcloney, County Armagh
Farm name: Dromore Road
Herd: Holstein Friesian
Milking system: Fullwood 10×20 swingover herringbone
Date of installation: March 2014
The Savages milk 100 Holstein Friesian cows at their County Armagh farm. In March 2014 they installed a standalone Auto ID system to control their Fullwood parlour’s AugerMaster feeders.
“Prior to installing the computerised feed controllers we were feeding the cows using a push button system,” Noel Savage explains. “We were probably feeding a little too much across the entire herd which was adding cost and reducing our margins. We therefore invested in an Auto ID system which enables each cow to receive a specific amount of feed based on her actual milk output, rather than feeding a blanket ration to the entire herd.”
The Auto ID system, which uses electronic ear tags to identify each cow as she enters the milking platform, has saved an average of four tonnes of feed per month.
“It’s quite simply a more accurate method of delivering a consistent ration on an individual cow basis,” Noel adds. “We use one feed curve for freshly calved cows, with the ration building up over 21 days. After that the cows move onto a milking ration that feeds to yield according to the individual cow’s milk records.
“We’re using less meal to produce the same volume of milk which is more efficient for the cows and better for our profit margin.”